View Full Version : Is it that damaging to sleep with damp hair?

Autumn Light
July 8th, 2013, 02:17 PM
Due to my current work situation, I usually have to wash my hair late at night, not long before I go to bed, so I either blow dry it or go to sleep with it still damp. (I put a towel on the pillow)

I try to avoid blow drying due to the heat damage, but I wonder if it's just as bad for my hair to go to sleep with it still damp, cos it can make it go a bit frizzy in the morning - due to the friction of my hair on the towel, I'm guessing.

What do you guys think, is it that damaging?

(And also, it doesn't really bother me to sleep with it wet, although the coldness can be a lil annoying, I don't get head aches or anything like that)

July 8th, 2013, 02:28 PM
At boarding school after a wash I slept with my hair damp, but not with a towel (I don't like terry cloth towels for my hair, and they're the only kind I own). I don't like to blow-dry (don't own a diffuser for my curls, and I'm not patient enough to wait for the cool air to do its thing, nor do I want to use heat on it), and I could only shower an hour before bed (boarding school) so my hair was still quite wet/damp when I went to bed.

I get that hair is more susceptible to damage when it's wet, but if we're talking about blow-drying with a lot of heat, then the mechanical damage will probably be considerably less than the heat damage you could get. Warm or cool air should be fine, though. I tend to move around in my sleep, switching sides fairly regularly, but my hair doesn't end up any more tangled than it usually is, or even that frizzy. I suppose satin instead of cotton for a pillowcase (or a towel!) could help if you're really worried about the damage. My only problem with it is that usually my hair is still a little damp in the morning, and I don't like the idea of my hair staying wet for that long.

Since I frequently sleep with damp hair, I'm interested to hear what others have to say about this.

July 8th, 2013, 02:32 PM
Try to use a t-shirt on your pillow instead of a terry-cloth towel. It will keep it from frizzing so much. Also, maybe a satin pillow case, with no towel, or with the towel inside the case to absorb the moisture from getting to the pillow, but providing slip on the outside for your hair. I sleep with damp hair frequently. Usually I'll bun it loosely or braid it (again, loosely). If my hair is really wet, I'll hang my head upside down in front of a room fan to dry it halfway, gently, and not so that it's flying around and getting tangled.

July 8th, 2013, 02:37 PM
i go to sleep with wet/damp hair occasionally. if i braid it, it helps keep the length moisturized, but if i bun it it usually makes the ends all dry and bent weird. i figure its less damaging than blowdrying it.

July 8th, 2013, 03:32 PM
I go to bed with wet hair often. I don't see how it would be damaging. I let my length puddle in the area above my pillow, with another pillow wedged between bed frame and mattress to keep my hair from slipping over the edge and hanging, which pulls.

July 8th, 2013, 03:40 PM
Rubbing damp hair on a terry cotton towel regularly won't do it any favours because of friction. Could you put the towel inside your silk/ satin pillowcase? Or lay on an old cotton t-shirt?

July 8th, 2013, 03:57 PM
I sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce frizz, and go to bed with my hair wet all the time. I just loosely braid it first to keep it from tying itself into knots as I sleep.

July 8th, 2013, 04:08 PM
I remember going to bed with damp hair in the past and it didn't seem to damage my hair. Instead, going to bed with wet meant that next morning my hair volume had less volume in it than if I let it dry completely before going to bed. I think it also loosened the waviness of my hair, so that's something to consider as well.

July 8th, 2013, 06:25 PM
I sleep with wet hair all the time, but I don't move at all (first time he stayed over, BF said I looked dead XD) so save for a little bit of friction around my face there's nothing. I guess if you toss and turn a lot it wouldn't be a good idea though.

July 8th, 2013, 07:06 PM
I have done it, but my hair is never completely dry in the morning. It isn't particularly long or overly thick, but for some reason it does not dry just hanging on a pillow. If I bunned or braided it, it would still be wet the next evening! If I were you, I would probably try to shower as soon as I got home, so it had a bit of time to dry while I was making dinner/watching tv or whatever. Butim sure its less damaging than blow drying.

chen bao jun
July 8th, 2013, 09:09 PM
I sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce frizz, and go to bed with my hair wet all the time. I just loosely braid it first to keep it from tying itself into knots as I sleep.
me too.
I don't have any breakage from doing this, I don't see that it's harmful at all.

July 8th, 2013, 09:25 PM
Before I started swimming regularly and had to shower at school, I usually showered at night and as such went to bed with damp hair. It didn't really bother me much as long as I kept it in a braid. I hate the feel of everything getting wet though. I found that taking some paper towels and squeezing my hair with them worked wonders at getting out excess water so my hair didn't get everything as wet.

July 8th, 2013, 10:02 PM
I do this often also. What I do is wrap my hair up in a giant t-shirt for as long as possible because those things really do soak up moisture like nothing else I've tried. And then I toss all my hair up over the pillow so it hangs off the top of the bed all night. I sometimes loosely braid my hair too. And if I wake up with frizzies I just very lightly mist my hair with some water and smooth it over with a really really thin layer of coconut oil. It takes barely 5 minutes to dry from that and then frizzies be gone!

July 8th, 2013, 10:14 PM
I don't think it's damaging. In fact on LHC it has a name - pillow plopping - and is a nice way to bring out the waves and curls in your hair. When I do it I make a sort of trough with a towel above my pillow, and lay my hair along it. Putting a towel under your satin pillowcase is a good idea. :thumbsup:

July 8th, 2013, 10:35 PM
I don't see why not. I know some people (including stylists) swear that it is terrible for your hair, but I suppose that's only maybe true if a) you sleep with it down and b) you are a rough sleeper. :p

July 8th, 2013, 10:41 PM
I almost always let my hair dry when I sleep...but I don't leave it on my towel all night. Unless you move around A LOT when you sleep, it should be fine.

Edit: Bonus: And damp hair feels glorious in bed when the summer night heat is still going strong!

July 8th, 2013, 11:08 PM
I go to bed right after showing everyday. As long as your careful with it I don't think its any worse than going to bed with it dry. I blot it out carefully then coil it slightly above my head when I lay down so I don't roll on it all night. When ive been at someone elses house and I don't wash due to crappy water quality it tends to slip around and get rubbed a lot which I feel is worse for it.

July 8th, 2013, 11:47 PM
Yeah, I definitely don't think rolling around on the towel will be worse for your hair than the blow-dryer. It also depends on how much you move around during sleep, how rough your towel actually is, and your hair type. I sleep with damp hair all the time, and I like that my hair is damp in the morning, because my hair tends to snap more if I'm handling when it's completely dry. I used to do the towel thing as well but lately I've been laying my head on a soft blanket instead. I would love to have one of those super soft microfiber towels for my hair.

July 9th, 2013, 12:19 AM
I always wash my hair at night and let it dry while I sleep. It might be a problem if most of your hair is super-fine and really prone to breakage, but I've never noticed any problems, and you can't beat the convenience.

July 9th, 2013, 12:20 AM
After towel drying a bit I often go to bed with damp hair. Maybe I'm weird, but I don't even bother with a towel or t-shirt or anything. I toss my hair back behind my pillow and go to sleep. Works fine. Sometimes I have to re-toss my hair if I change position but it's not a big deal to me.

July 9th, 2013, 02:22 AM
I've slept with damp hair and it did okay in not becoming damaged.